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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And Again, Attention Idiot Parents

Here's the thing, parents, it's the 21st Century.

Got that?

It's not the Dark Ages, we understand what causes communicable disease. It's not the miasma of bad air, or phases of the moon, or God's wrath, or demons, or an imbalance of the body's humors.

It's germs: viruses and bacteria and sometimes prions.

Yes, in some emerging diseases, and even some that have been around as long as we have, not all of the mechanisms and propagation vectors are understood. But for the most part we have a fairly thorough understanding of what causes infectious disease.

And while we may not know everything about disease, and we may not be able to prevent or cure everything, yet, there are some things we pretty definitely do know about disease prevention:

Disease is not prevented by praying. During the Black Death - i.e. the Bubonic plague pandemic that ravaged Europe and Asia for most of the 14th Century - 75 million people died or nearly 50% of Europe's total population and, trust me here, those pious bastards were praying their infected asses off. They sang hymns and flagellated themselves until they bled and prayed for deliverance and prostrated themselves before God almighty - and still they died, in great festering, pus-filled masses. Religion, faith, prayer, and all the cathedral building in the world did exactly jack shit to save those people. All the belief in the world will not prevent the spread of infectious disease, especially when you're shitting in your water supply or kissing the bishop's ring along with every other sneezing gomer in the area. Period. What's that? Oh, I'm wrong am I? Prayer does work you say? Okey Dokey, let's take the Pope and drop him into the middle of Panama and see if his prayers keep him from getting malaria, or sleeping sickness in the African Congo, or yellow fever, or anthrax, or etc. In fact, during the Black Death, one of the hardest hit populations was the clergy due to their proximity to large numbers of the infected. Their supposed piety didn't help them at all, and in point of fact their very beliefs were in large part a contributing factor in their infection. Again, your religion will not, in any way, prevent or reduce your chances of being infected if you come in contact with a communicable disease vector. Period.

Disease is not prevented by 'alternative' medicine. All the organically farmed homeopathic herbal supplements in the world won't keep you from getting diphtheria, amoebic dysentery, measles, mumps, or the common cold. I don't care if you 'treat the whole body' by eating a bale of raw saw grass and purging the 'toxins' from your system by drinking a gallon of pureed wheat germ every day under a bank of broad spectrum sun lamps. If somebody with whooping cough sneezes in your face, there's a pretty high probability that sooner rather than later you're going to be yakking your fluid filled lungs out on floor.

Disease is not prevented by ancient remedies, 'natural medicine', harmonic resonance, roots, bark, crystals, star alignment, or juju magic. Ancient Native Americans did not have some secret cure for disease now lost to modern civilization. Their lives were brutal, short, and not in some kind of 'harmony' with nature - it only appears that way due to the insulation of time and the biased nostalgia of a certain type of predisposed perception to see pre-industrial Native Americans, Aboriginals, and and other native peoples as some kind of magical people who lived in peace and harmony at one with the universe. It's not true and never was. When Europeans first came to the New World, they brought with them all of the diseases of their world. Those diseases decimated the native populations. All the Ghost Dancing, shamanic magic, and native cures were useless. When British General Jeffrey Amherst, later Lord Amherst, led the Redcoats against the Ottawa and their native allies in what is now New York and Pennsylvania, he had his men distribute smallpox infected blankets to the Indians. All the juju magic and ancient remedies did nothing, nothing, not one damned thing, to stem the resulting decimation among the tribes of the Great Lakes. If you believe that ancient tribal medicine will keep you from getting smallpox, well, then you are an idiot, and really, good luck with that.

The Government, the Pharmaceutical Companies, and the Insurance agencies are not in some big secret global conspiracy to make you sick and keep you that way. Scientists are not a bunch of evil bastards bent on turning your kids into autistic zombies or giving gay people aids so that the pharmaceutical companies can make billions off of your suffering. The vast majority of the folks at the CDC and government labs, commercial research organizations, and the like have dedicated their lives to making the world a better and safer place - and in large part they have done just that. From about 1910 to the mid 1950's, polio epidemics ravaged America, Europe, New Zealand, and Asia. Millions were infected and hundreds of thousands were killed or crippled - in 1952, there were nearly 60,000 cases of polio in the United States alone. Government and private industry poured billions of dollars into research and eventually Scientists like Salk and Sabin found a vaccine. That vaccine has saved millions and reduced the number of polio cases to less than a thousand world wide annually. If that vaccine had not been found, and widely implemented, polio would be a full blown pandemic in our modern world of high population densities and easy global transportation. If the government and pharmaceutical companies were really truly bent on placing profit over public health they would have been far better served to withhold the cure and keep making iron lungs - a complex medical machine costing hundreds of thousands of dollars - vice the paltry couple of bucks they make off each polio shot. Something I want to point out here: Just because pharmaceutical companies make a profit, does not automatically make them evil bastards or engaged in conspiracy to steal your money by making you sick. What? What's that you say? Pharmaceutical companies should just give that shit away? Out of some kind of humanitarian ideal, right? Bah. Blow it out your ass. Pharmaceutical companies are just like any other company, altruism is all fine and well, but unless you've got a big fat endowment or, you know, actually make a profit, you won't be in business very long. Here's the thing that kills me about that particular mind set: homeopaths who sell bottles of powered roots and blended saw grass smoothies make a profit, the churches make a profit (100% tax fee here in the US, and don't try to tell me that the major churches, TV evangelists, and the tent preachers aren't making a profit), the folks who sell crystals and snake oil miracle cures on the home shopping network and the Internet make a profit - so why aren't they evil bastards too? Seriously, if everybody was healthy all of these people would be out of business - how come they're not part of the global conspiracy instead being the ones leading the charge? In fact, the people who stand to gain the most from a global conspiracy are conspiracy theorist themselves. Without a pharmaceutical company conspiracy, all of these people would be nobodies. Now, do pharmaceutical companies charge too damned much for their products? Well, that depends entirely on your view point doesn't it? Let's look at an example: the cocktail of protease inhibitors that are used to treat AIDS costs literally thousands of dollars per month, and they cost the pharmaceutical companies billions to develop - a condom costs about fifty cents. A rather large number of folks with AIDS got the disease through risky behavior, and are demanding that somebody, anybody, but especially the pharmaceutical companies pay for the cure. Another example, a pack of cigarettes costs about $6 here in the Alaska. A pack a day smoker spends about $200 a month on smokes, give or take, and over two thousand a year. What's that? Sixty, seventy thousand over thirty years? The drugs, Spiriva (tiotropium) used to treat COPD, a form of emphysema, can cost well over a hundred dollars a month, or about the same as the habit that gave the victim the disease in the first place. So, let's dispense with the bullshit that pharmaceutical companies are villains, shall we? Should there be regulation? Sure. Should there be some kind of assistance for folks who need medicine and can't afford it? Sure. And etc. Now, I don't want this post to wander off into some kind of discussion of socialized medicine or national insurance or health coverage. But the bottom line here is that there are enough diseases and emerging diseases without the either the government or the pharmaceutical industry colluding to make you sick and keep you that way - in fact, they make an even larger profit by doing just the opposite.

And last: The Internet is biased. The sea of information is vast and limitless. Some of it is accurate, some if it is widely off the mark, some of it manufactured whole cloth by the deluded or the insane or the stupid, some of it is outdated, and some of it is generated spontaneously by hysteria, fear, and ignorance. If you believe something, and you search for it - you'll find plenty of reasonable sounding information to support your belief. The results of the following searches produce completely different results: Vaccines cause autism and autism. Both are biased for a variety of reasons. The first phrase is indicative of a bias in search criteria, i.e. the searcher already suspects that vaccines cause autism and is looking for supporting information. Additionally, all modern search engines are biased, deliberately so, with search results weighted by a large number of factors. In many cases this deliberate bias is an advantage to the search when looking for basic information or services. However, when it comes to the foundation of belief systems, this bias can be a form of self reinforcing information warfare and unintended manipulation of perception.

Now to the point of this post, which is this: Get your Goddamned kids immunized or keep them home.

No. Shut the hell up. Shut up and go out right now and get your kid immunized. Drop the hysterical, pseudo scientific, mumbo jumbo, juju, herbal homeopathic, religious bullshit. Get your kid immunized or keep him the hell away from my child. Keep him or her out of the public school system. You want to home school or send your kid to one of those religious schools where they pray away disease, fine by me, but keep your goddamned kid out of the public schools.

Should you use reasonable caution? Yes, absolutely. Should you get your information regarding vaccines from your doctor instead of some on-line forum full of crazed conspiracy nuts who believe exactly as you do? Hmmm, yeah, might be a good idea. Should you look at family history regarding sensitivity to certain types of vaccines? Yes. Should you ask about side effects and be observant for a reaction in your children? Yes, of course.

But for the love God, Parents, there is no damned reason whatsoever for your kid to show up at my son's school with a full blown case of fucking whooping cough.

You might think you're protecting your child, but not getting him or her immunized is no different than all of those people who ripped the flesh from their own backs in order to become more Christ-like during the Black Death. Their actions came from ignorance and a lack of real prevention methods - your actions come from ignorance alone. You are not protecting your child, you're putting him or her at risk. That's bad enough, but you're also risking my son's health - and that is completely unacceptable.

47 comments:

  1. My personal favorite: Parents who refuse to get their kids immunized because "it's too dangerous," but their kids stay healthy because they ride on the group immunity provided by the majority of kids in the community who are immunized.

    Yeah. Hypocrite much?

    Christ on a crutch.

    It never even occurred to me not to get my kids immunized...

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  2. Well, sort of on the topic, I'd also like to take a swing at the morons who won't get their daughters the vaccine for cervical cancer because it might somehow signal to the kid that she can be promiscuous? WTF? How are the two things connected, you ignorant fucks?

    (At least in this case, they're only endangering their own daughter, not the rest of the kids at school.)

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  3. Nathan, yeah, that is a personal pet peeve of mine.

    So, let me get this straight, there's a immunization will demonstratively prevent your daughter from getting cervical cancer, in fact this is one of the few types of cancer, fucking CANCER, that is completely preventable - but you've got some deluded idea that if she gets the immunization she'll become a tart? What exactly does that say about your parenting? What exactly does it say about your opinion of your own daughter?

    As Janiece says, what the fuck is WRONG with these people?

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  4. "It never even occurred to me not to get my kids immunized...
    "

    And this is coming from someone who reacted negatively to just about every fucking shot she was ever given as a child.

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  5. Ha! Somehow I can see that.

    Doctor: Janiece needs a shot.
    Janiece: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!

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  6. Is it just me, or doesn't everybody else enjoy the Janiece/Cindi interplay as much as I do?

    :)

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  7. Yes Yes Yes!

    With a caveat.

    There *are* children/individuals who should not or cannot be immunized. (immune disorders, cancer) It is for these individuals that everyone else gets immunized.

    They shouldn't be made to feel bad for being unable to get immunized.

    And if a parent has concerns about a specific combination of shots, they can request that they doctor give the shots separately. (I'm not a fan of the DPT, as it made me feel like CRAP afterwards.)

    But... I didn't think kids were *allowed* in school if they didn't have their shots! I thought immunization records were mandatory?

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  8. Michelle, agreed.

    However, I'd like to point out that there is a big difference between feeling "like crap" afterward and having an actual adverse reaction.

    Disclaimer: I've had every immunization known to man, including both the adult smallpox vaccination and the full battery of Anthrax immunizations. I've been everywhere from the Middle East to Africa to South America and Asia, you name the vaccination and I've probably had it. Some made me feel lousy for a day or so, but I'll tell you after seeing some of the disease and pestilence I've seen, I'm always the first one in line for whatever shot they're giving. And frankly, I love the flu shot, fuck I hate the flu. Hate. It.

    As to the school thing - varies state by state, and every state gives an exception for religious grounds, and most do for parental concerns if you raise a big enough stink. Personally I think that's complete crap.


    I don't have to respect anybody else's goofy beliefs, not if they endanger my kid. This is no different than members of the North American Man/Boy Love Association saying that I have to respect their beliefs. No, hell no. If your religion requires you to smoke peyote six times a day or sacrifice a goat to appease the rain gods - you do that shit on your own time, not around my kid. Religion can kiss my fuzzy ass. Believe what you like, right up until it endangers me or mine or society at large - then I'm going to stick my nose into your business. When you send your kid to public school without proper immunization, you're making it my business.

    I want immunization made mandatory, no exceptions except in the cases you pointed out, i.e. a documented medical sensitivity determination by a real, board certified doctor - not some minister or shaman or whothefuckever. Period.

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  9. Yes!

    And my point was that since the DPT may have somewhat unpleasant side effects, parents *can* arrange for the shots separately, if they are seriously concerned. (I have never been bothered by tetanus shots, but DPT made me feel like I was coming down with the flu for half a week.)

    I also get the flu shot--not that it did me a damned bit of good last year. But I'll get it again this year.

    And I volunteered to get a smallpox booster, when they were talking about trying to determine how much the doses could be diluted in case of emergency. (I was in one of the last age groups to get the smallpox vaccine as a child.) So I agree that vaccines are Very Good Things.

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  10. I wasn't disagreeing with you, just expanding on my opinion, I guess :)

    And I absolutely agree that for some people getting each immunization separately, rather than in single combined shot is a good idea - just as long as they get the shot.

    What prompted this post is an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) at my son's school. Seems not only did the parents not get the kid vaccinated, but once he was sick they sent him to school anyway so we could all share in the sickness. Seriously, whooping cough? How, exactly did they miss that? The wracking cough, the mucus, the fever - not normal and you'd think they'd notice. And again, whooping cough? That's like something out of steam age London for chrissake! Your kid could fucking die, dumbasses.

    When I spoke to the school nurse today, she said she was glad to talk to me - since I was the first non-crazy person she'd talked to all day. Parents have been calling to either say "Quick, give my kid a shot!" or "Vaccinations are against our beliefs [God, Big Juju Magic, Organic Herbal Homeopathy] will protect him!"

    I called with my kid's shot record in hand, and asked the nurse if my son was still protected since his last DTAP was in 2000. Yep. She said if I was worried she would give him another one, but he didn't need it for two more years. I said "You're the medical professional, what do you recommend?" She said "Thank you, and you kid is fine."

    Roger than and out. But Goddamn it, whooping cough? Fucking idiots put everybody at risk.

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  11. Great rant.

    Another issue is that vaccines are not 100% protective. Anywhere from 5 - 20% of those immunized, depending on the shot, don't develop enough antibodies for immunity. It is for those people, too, that we want everyone to get the shots.

    I'd really like for people to have to spend time in the military, peace corps, or some such, to see the third world of disease as it existed pre-vaccinations, in order to calibrate their mental models. People see so little of it these days, they think that those disease are a fairy tale, or so rare that they need not worry about immunization. Ironically, by not immunizing their kids, they are ensuring that we learn the lesson again - the hard way. That will last for another 3 generations, until no one remembers grandpa's stories about the Great Alaska Whooping Cough Epidemic of '09, and then we'll be back to square one again. Why are human beings so fucking dense?

    Minor nitpick - it's COPD. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

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  12. COPD, yeah, why? what did I type?

    Oh, yeah, COPH, duh. It's a typo.

    I'm familiar with COPD, my dad has it.

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  13. I'm always reminded of my midshipmen friends in NROTC at Northwestern, who got all their shots necessary so they could go on Cruise in the summer, in both arms... just before final exams.

    This would, of course, be the line just before paychecks were disbursed.

    Dr. Phil

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  14. Cindi's right - I purely hated needles as a youngster. Not that I'm all over them now, mind you - I just recognize the requirement.

    Like Jim, I think I've immunizations for my immunizations. The military is pretty good at learning from the history of the Spanish-American War, and having contagious, deadly disease running like wildfire through your troops is the quickest way to lose the war. So we got immunized, and we liked it.

    Ah, the benefit of looking at the world through adult eyes.

    And I'll get on the Michelle bandwagon - the group immunity phenomenon should be used for the benefit of the small percentage of youngsters who can't, for medical reasons, get the immunizations. Not for the benefit of the 'tards who can't be trusted to read their history and make a choice based on scientific evidence.

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  15. Needles never bothered me.

    Anything to do with the eyes though, yeah that takes all my willpower. Contacts, no way, couldn't do it. Fortunately I don't need glasses (yet).

    Group immunity works like a firebreak in a forest fire. Don't make the breaks big enough or wide enough and the fire will jump.

    Science, it works, bitches.

    (Sorry, but I wanted to be the first one to say it)

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  16. This whole syndrome just amazes me.

    I've had all my immunizations. My kids have had theirs. My dogs have had theirs.

    I've been part of my company's pandemic planning group at times - talk about panic-mongering!! - but it is essential to have emergency infrastructure maintenance plans in place if you're an essential, lifeline utility.

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  17. I wore contacts for years and have no problem with touching my eyeballs. Nyah Nyah.

    I was also allergic to everything as a child and had to go to the pediatrician twice per week to get a shot in each arm. I got over my needle aversion pretty quickly.

    And while we're on the subject of what bothers you (me), I always thought the sight of blood didn't discombobulate me, but a few months ago I was about 20' away from a young woman who ran across the street and got hit by a car. She went over the hood and did a complete flip in the air before landing in the street on her side. I was the first one to get to her, quickly followed by an off-duty cop.

    911 was quickly dialed and we got a car to park next to her to block traffic. I was worried that she might have broken a leg (or two) from the way she was hit and she was bleeding from a scalp wound. Now I'm aware that scalp wounds always bleed horribly and they don't necessarily mean catastrophe, but I'll admit I was damned near useless. The off-duty cop got some paper towels and jammed them on the wound and another bystander (an off-duty ER administrator) got the woman laid out with her feet up. I was relegated to watching for the ambulance and waiving them in.

    Kinda sucks when life bursts your preconceived ideas about yourself.

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  18. I think this is just an piece of the puzzle, a lot of woo has slipped into mainstream American thinking about many things, not just medicine, tards not having their children immunized, magnet therapy, good luck on trying to find a news paper that doesn’t post horoscopes, go read SEB’s post on the teslar watch (good luck on making through all the comments, but it is worth the trip). The only problem with this pile of woo is that it effects my child too, not just theirs (and I have pity for the poor child stick in that kind of rearing environment, it is not their choice they may have to suffer whooping cough, or any of the other preventable diseases). Too bad people aren’t born with reversible sterility, sometimes it would be nice if a person had to get a license to procreate.

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  19. Nathan, how you react sometimes has to do with how the situation unfolds - in your case you had a cop and an ER guy present, both with professional medical/emergency training, kind've putting you in the back seat responsibility wise. If you had been the only guy present or the guy who had to take charge, you might have reacted completely different. I've seen this effect in a number of crisis situations, with a number of experienced people.

    Thordr: Magnets and Tesla technology, yeah, make it stop. My personal favorite? the magnet you slap on your fuel line to give you at least '70mph.' or the wrist magnet to 'align the iron molecules in your blood.' Then there's the whole magic Tesla power beaming anti gravity thing. Head. Desk. Bang, bang, bang.

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  20. Oh God, Jim, you just poked my hot button with a large pointy stick. The encroachment of woo-woo medicine into mainstream America literally leaves me speechless at times (and it takes A LOT to make me speechless). You literally wouldn’t believe the crap I heard from patients over the years. I would spend huge chunks of time (each follow-up patient got a half-hour app’t) explaining why I chose X drug or Y treatment, and the patient would then tell me that his best friend said that reiki (or homeopathic product Z or craniosacral therapy or prayer circles or…) worked for her, so he wanted to try it. It really became disheartening after a while, and my will to explain why I product Z or chiropractic manipulation has no proven effectiveness disappeared. Hence my leaving private practice to work at the large faceless government agency where I get to protect and promote health on a larger scale.

    If there is one woo-woo promoter who I would happily throttle, it would be Jenny McCarthy. Yes, I understand that she has a child with autism. I’m sorry for that. But IT WASN’T BECAUSE OF VACCINES OR THIMEROSAL. (sorry, I got a bit too excited.) There have been so many studies looking for a link between vaccines and autism or thimerosal and autism, and it has never been identified. No, it isn’t a great conspiracy between the evil medical establishment (who clearly only want to hurt people), the FDA (slacker government work at its best) and Big Pharma (who should be in this only to help people and not [god forbid] make a profit). The link just doesn’t happen to exist. [sigh] Alright, I’ll step off the soap box now.

    Put me in Michelle’s corner – one of the purposes of mass vaccination is for protection of those who are unable (not unwilling) to be vaccinated. Herd immunity is a great thing. And yes, I have seen the seriously bad sequelae of these childhood diseases, here in the US. If you really want to know one of the reasons why we want to eradicate measles, look up Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis, and pray that nobody you know ever develops this. I’ve seen two cases, both youngsters, and will never forget them. Neither will their families. As for the HPV vaccine, don’t even go there. I’m sorry that I am too freaking old and “experienced” for it. My daughter, OTOH, will be getting it or a reasonable facsimile in 6 or so years.

    When my daughter was very young, she developed fairly high fevers with multiple vaccines in one sitting. Her pediatrician and I worked out a vaccine schedule that we were both comfortable with, and ues, thank you, she’s up to date. As for me getting vaccines – tetanus makes me sick, and my arm inevitably swells, but I GET IT ANYWAY (whining). I draw the line at the flu shot, since it makes me sick.

    If you want to read a blog that scientifically examines non-traditional medicine and doesn’t hesitate in calling a spade a spade, read Science-Based Medicine. It is one of the blogs I read regularly (just like Stonekettle Station). :-)

    Natalie

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  21. Natalie, I was hoping both you and John would weigh in on this, given both of your backgrounds (and I have to say it gives me just a bit of a thrill that John actually agreed with me this time :)

    And Reiki and other such 'feel-good' juju is one of my personal pet peeves. While some Reiki 'practitioners' may truly believe this crap, I'm fairly sure a rather large number are charlatans - just exactly like TV evangelists - who are fleecing the gullible and stupid out of their money. And frankly, even though it may sound 'elitist,' the truth of the matter is that a rather large number of people are gullible and just plain mentally deficient. I don't know any polite way of saying it - people who believe in magnets, aroma-therapy, crystals, homeopathy, and etc are just plain ignorant, stupid, gullible idiots who are utterly incapable of critical thought. It's a damned good thing that the rest of the human race is above average - or we'd still be small tribes of hunter-gatherers living in caves and praying to the moon god under the thumb of the local shaman.

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  22. thordr: hey, thanks for that link. Jesus, I couldn't stop laughing, Stupid Evil Bastard kills me, but it's the comments that had me going - especially the one from the guy who claims to work for Teslar. Hysterical.

    If the rest of you didn't click through on thordr's link, do it, and read the comments - it's a great laugh. Natalie, you on the other hand might NOT want to, your head might explode. ;)

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  23. My head explodes daily with the stuff I review, so whatever is on that site can just get in line. Unfortunately, the nameless (large federal) organization for which I work has prevented access. Perhaps the web-address trips the meter. I'll read it tonight. And yes, my head explodes in the privacy of my own house on a regular basis, too. :-)

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  24. And for those of you who don't enjoy needles -- I learned during med school that I would far rather stick a needle in someone else than have one stuck in me. :-)

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  25. neuron doc, no offense but I'd rather be stuck by a phlebotomist or a nurse than a doctor.

    If someone is sticking needles in me (for input or outtake) I want it to be their full time job not something they do every once in awhile.

    :)

    And apropos only of infectious diseases, I remember reading in some journal that even if you haven't had a booster, the childhood smallpox vaccines should still provide some residual immunity.

    We're OK, but Matt is going to be in serious trouble in the event of an outbreak/event. (Which I hope never happens.)

    Now see, stuff like this was why I studied public health.

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  26. Uh Oh. My stats show a couple "THIMEROSAL CAUSES AUTISM" and "Mother against vaccine" people snooping around.

    Strap down and stand by for trollage. Didn't take long. Both looked at the "Ten Things To Consider Before You Comment Here" post though, and then went away. Troll repellent, oh yeah, that was worth every grubby second I put into it.

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  27. Dear parents who don't have the sense to understand the importance of vaccination, I have one statement for you: Correlation is NOT the same as Causation.

    I also invite you to consider the term "herd immunity" and how you would feel if it was your child with cancer or an autoimmune disorder who was at risk of death because of some selfish twit such as yourselves.

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  28. Good luck with that, Michelle.

    I've read their blogs and forums - their entire understanding of science comes from, well, blogs and forums and hysteria. These people are as crazy as YECs and then some.

    They have a canned response to your statement - let's see if they post it here. No further visits so far, maybe we scared them away.

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  29. "Troll repellent" -- bloody marvelous stuff, you should be proud.

    Just remember, in the future Dr. McCoy cures all with ugly designer salt shakers. I saw it on T.V.

    Dr. Phil

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  30. Hey, I like those salt shakers - ST:TOS, still the best of the franchise by a long shot :)

    (and yes, I fully expect that statement to stir up the embers, but I'm sticking to my guns here)

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  31. We want you to stick to your guns, Jim. What sort of round do you use on Trolls?

    Dr. Phil

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  32. TOS the best? NO WAY!

    Avery Brooks and Terry Farrell PLUS Michael Dorn.

    DS9 all the WAY!

    ;)

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  33. Sunlight rounds, Phil, of course.

    Michelle, go take your medicine, you're delusional :)

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  34. Michelle, I am not offended by your comment. I wouldn't let me draw blood from myself. (That doesn't sound right, but I suspect you get what I mean.) I totally sucked at blood draws. However, when I was in practice, I stuck needles in people on a daily basis -- performing EMGs -- not drawing blood. I was good at that. And before you (or anyone else) makes a comment -- yes, I do know what an EMG feels like. Fergoshsakes, how do you think we learned? Yes, as residents, we practiced on each other. So anything I did to a patient (WRT to EMG), I had had done to me. By an idiot. Who had never done it before.

    But don't ask me to touch an eyeball. No freaking way. Mine or anyone else's. Yuck.

    Nighty-night now,
    Natalie

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  35. For any lurking would-be trolls - here's my favorite correlation does not equal causation example:

    June is the rainy season in Japan.

    June is also the month with the highest rate of auto accidents in Florida.

    No, the rain in Japan does not cause accidents on Florida roads. June also happens to be the month when the snow birds head back North en masse, and when the first wave of tourons hit Florida roads. Old coots who should have turned in their licenses 10 years ago plus clueless New Jersey drivers with their eyes glued to the GPS instead of the road (who can't drive even when on roads they know back up North) equals carnage.

    Please take your "but this kid I know got autism right after a shot" arguments and stick them someplace the sun don't shine. Like Japan in June.

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  36. I really want to be fair here and clarify:

    When I said my sister had "negative reactions", I meant she had "adverse reactions". Penicillin? Nearly killed her. Tetenus? The same. Everything else? The same.

    As for needles? When I was 7, the nurses needed to draw blood from a vein for the first time, as opposed to a finger prick. It took three of them, plus my mother to make it happen. Meanwhile, my sister, age 4, was cowering under a table in the corner, listening to me scream bloody murder. No wonder the poor kid developed a bit of a phobia.

    Sorry, Janiece.

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  37. I liked it better when it sounded like you were making fun of her. Just saying.

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  38. That might be because you're an asshole.

    ;D

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  39. Well, I try to play to my strengths

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  40. Yeah, it's all Cindi's fault. The big poopyhead!

    Although she's right about my allergic reactions, unfortunately.

    Actually I've decided Natalie is my new girl crush. I will gladly hold her coat and then provide an alibi for her when she throttles that pinhead Jenny McCarthy.

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  41. Who you callin' a poopyhead, shrimp?

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  42. Cindi, don't play. You know you want to help Natalie and I throttle Jenny McCarthy.

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  43. Fine. ::sulks::

    Actually, Natalie, I recommend punching Jenny McCarthy in the throat if you want to end things quickly.

    Just sayin'.

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  44. That's my sister. Civilized to the last...

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  45. Jenny probably has some type of homeopathetic cure for the resulting bruise.

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